Grandmasters of Jihad

gmjThe Gorka Brief, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, may 14, 2015:

Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Al Nusra Front, and ISIS all share the same goal and ideology. They all want to reestablish the theocratic empire of Islam – The Caliphate – that was dissolved in 1924, and they all see Holy War, or Jihad, as the only way to do so. Where does this ideology come from?

Just like America and the Western military world, the Global Jihadist Movement (GJM) has its grand strategic thinkers, their own Clausewitzs and Mackinders. The three most important are the Egyptian, Sayyid Qutb; the Palestinian Jordanian, Abdulah Azzam; and the Pakistani Brigadier S.K. Malik.

What did these three founders of the GJM have to say about Islam’s relationship to terrorism?

  • Qutb is perhaps the most important person to the Muslim Brotherhood after its founder, Hassan al Banna. After spending two years in the US and deciding that we are a heretical nation that must be destroyed, Qutb wrote his guide to Jihad, the manual on how to destroy us. Entitled Milestones, this text has been found on high-value terrorist targets killed or captured in every theater that jihad is currently being fought in. In it, Qutb is explicit: Muslims have lost their way, Islam must be purged of ignorance of Allah (jahiliyyah), and the only way to do so is through a jihad in which the infidel (kuffar) is subdued or killed. Qutb added that all democracies must be destroyed because in any system in which men make the laws, the sovereignty of Allah has been undermined. The Koran is the only constitution a Muslim needs or is allowed to follow.
  • Next there is Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s boss and spiritual guide. After the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets in 1979, Azzam issued a fatwa, or religious decree with the title: Defense of Muslim Lands. In it, he stated that, since the Caliphate had been dissolved in 1924 and that there was no longer an Islamic Emperor who could declare war against such invaders, Jihad was now fard ‘ayn, or an individual and universal obligation upon all followers of the Muslim faith. Importantly, because Azzam held a PhD in Islamic jurisprudence from the Al Azhar in Cairo, the most important Sunni theological institution in the world, he was fully qualified to issue such a decree, and it was duly endorsed by the greatest names in the Sunni religious establishment. Azzam is not only important because of his making Holy War a duty for all Muslims, but because he created an organization called the Services Bureau (MAK in Arabic) which recruited Muslims from around the world to come fight the infidels in Afghanistan. Not long after its founding, Azzam hired bin Laden as his deputy and it was bin Laden who would inherit the MAK upon Azzam’s death and rename it Al Qaeda.
  • The last and most important Jihadi strategist is the late Brigadier Malik. Also interestingly in 1979, Malik wrote a book which has become the most influential treatise on why Jihad is necessary and how it must be fought. The Quranic Concept of War is a long text on what the faithful Muslim can learn from the way Mohammad fought the infidels and non-believers when he established the empire of Islam. In it, Malik states three things: i) All war must only serve the realization of Allah’s sovereignty on this Earth through the reestablishment of the Caliphate. ii) The only target that matters in warfare is the soul of the infidel: the kuffar must be converted to Islam or be killed. iii) Because the soul is the only target that matters, terror is the best mode of warfare. In other words, it is events like 9/11, the Charlie Hebdo shootings, or the Fort Hood massacre that are the best way to defeat the infidel. (Note this wasn’t a fringe text when it was published – nor is it now – given that the introduction was written by the equivalent of the Attorney General of Pakistan and the preface which endorsed all that was in the book, was signed by none other than General Zia ul Haq, the Commander of all Pakistan’s Armed Forces and at the same time the President of Pakistan.

In other words, the greatest minds behind the threat groups we face today, the authors that shaped the ideology behind the atrocities we witness day in and day out, are all in agreement: Islam has lost its way and Jihad must be used to cleanse the world of disbelief until the theocratic empire reigns supreme.

Whatever our government believes, it is clear what Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the head of ISIS/The Islamic State believes.

Last September 11th, I was invited to brief an element of the US Intelligence Community that stills holds to the professional standard that one has to be honest about what the enemy says and what they are doing.

In the brief, I took the speech Abu Bakr made earlier in the Summer of 2014 from the pulpit of the Grand Mosque in Mosul, in which he declared the reestablishment of the Caliphate, and represent it as a “word cloud,” the visual representation of a text in which words are given a larger size and put closer to the center of the diagram the more often they are used.

This is the result:

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It is clear that our greatest current enemy has no question about why and what he is fighting for.

Also see:

Understanding History’s 7 Stages of Jihad

7-stages-jihad

The Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Dec. 8, 2014:

The post-9/11 debate on the meaning of “jihad” has often floundered at a superficial understanding of the term. Jihad is often simply referred to as either “striving” or “holy war.” Jihad, however, must be understood to consist of four varieties of human activity agreed upon by Islamic theologians and jurists. The first is the jihad of the heart, the so-called “greater jihad” of fighting evil within oneself. The second and third definitions involve the jihads of the mind and tongue, the condoning of “right” behavior in others and counseling those who have gone astray. Finally, there is jihad of the sword. Jihad of the sword is most relevant for the counterterrorism community today because it rests at the foundation of the global jihadist ideology.

The concept of jihad of the sword has been repeatedly reinterpreted and redefined since the days of the Prophet Muhammad. During this extensive time period, jihad by the sword has been used by protagonists to rally co-religionists in the pursuit of a political objective. Al-Qa`ida and the broader Salafi-jihadi movement have also reinterpreted this concept to justify the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

To properly understand the historic significance of al-Qa’ida, it is relevant to review the contextual evolution of the concept of jihad and the great success al-Qa’ida has had in redefining it for the current conflict.

Since the days of the Prophet Muhammad, jihad by the sword has been shaped by seven, historically-shaped political conceptualizations of jihad, occurring in the following order:

  1. empire building;
  2. the suppression of apostate subjects;
  3. the revolution against “false” Muslim leaders;
  4. the anti-colonial struggle and “purification” of the religion;
  5. countering Western influence and jahiliyya;[1]
  6. guerrilla warfare against secular invaders; and finally
  7. the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

This article will identify each contextual interpretation and the significance of jihad as terrorism.

SEVEN SWORDS OF JIHAD

Each of the contextualizations of jihad of the sword has been dictated by the desire to have jihad fill a real, specific and political need for Muslims in a given age and facing a specific threat. When the Prophet Muhammad was building a completely new state, he used the concept of jihad to justify the expansion of Islam. Although the Qur’an does not use the term jihad to refer directly to empire-building in the military sense, sura 25 verse 52 stipulates “obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost endeavor.” Understood in the context of Muhammad’s return to Mecca from Medina, and the ensuing conflict with the Meccans that is reflected in the latter half of an earlier sura, it is clear that striving is in this instance connected to military combat post hijra,[2] as Muhammad returns to Mecca and enforces his new writ. This constitutes the first offensive use of the concept, referring to the conflict to establish order among the Arab tribes around Mecca, through the use of force if necessary.

When Muhammad’s successor, Abu Bakr, faced recalcitrant tribes on the Arabian Peninsula that were threatening the order Muhammad had previously established, the second meaning of jihad was born: ridda, or the war against apostasy, against one’s own subjects. In the Western world, this would be equivalent to a war against rebels.

The third contextual definition of jihad came centuries later after the eclipse of the Abbasid Caliphate’s strength, starting in the second half of the 13th century. It is this reworking of the meaning of holy war, most significantly by Ibn Taymiyya, that has the greatest consequence for today’s context. The motivation for this redefinition was the need to provide Muslims with the right to revolt against their own leaders, specifically the Mongols. Islam had previously prohibited revolution against Muslim rulers. Ibn Taymiyya’s answer was to remove the prohibition; he argued that jihad is permissible against one’s own leaders if they do not live as true Muslims and if their rule does not conform to the requirements of Shari`a. He said,

And it is known by necessity from the din (religion) of the Muslims, and the agreement of all the Muslims, that whoever permits the following of a din other than Islam or following a Shari`a other than the Shari`a of Muhammad then he is a kafir (unbeliever), and it is like the kufr (blasphemy) of one who believes in part of the Book and disbelieves in part of the Book.[3]

Since the fusion of Mongol, Turkic and Tartar power was occurring at the same time that Ibn Taymiyya was writing, he was specific about the threat to “pure” Islam and how Muslims must respond:

Fighting the Tartars, those who came to the land of Shaam is wajib (religious duty) according to the Book and the Sunna, for indeed Allah said in the Qur’an: And fight them until fitna (schism/ blasphemous upheaval) is no more, and the din becomes all for Allah.[4]

Therefore, in the Middle Ages jihad became legitimate revolution based upon a new mechanism by which the people could denounce their leaders as un-Islamic.

The fourth political reconceptualization of jihad occurred four centuries later, starting in the early 1700s. As the European powers pushed militarily and politically into North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, the threat to Islamic societies was two-fold. Empires such as the British had to be physically resisted. At the same time, the West’s cultural influence upon the purity of the Islamic faith was growing and had to be countered. During this period, jihad was defined as anti-colonial resistance.

This new interpretation of jihad was typified by the pronouncements of Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabi Islam. Its practical and military consequences were amply demonstrated during the decade-long resistance to the 1830 French invasion of Algeria led by `Abd al-Qadir and also by the Sudanese resistance to the British led by the self-proclaimed mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. The second, non-military element of this redefinition of jihad—what author Noor Mohammad has described as Islam’s internal “housecleaning”—was represented by Shah Waliullah’s call to spiritual revival and the purification of India’s Muslims under British control.[5]

This definition of jihad would lead directly to the next interpretation, one that relies heavily on the principles laid down hundreds of years prior by Ibn Taymiyya, including the doctrine of takfir (excommunication). This fifth version of jihad was fathered and later developed by Abu al-A`la Mawdudi in India (then later Pakistan) and Sayyid Qutb in Egypt. This time the threat was embodied by the post-WWII Arab leaders of the Middle East and the influence of Western “soft power,” which together equaled a new jahiliyya, or age of polytheism and ignorance. Apostate leaders were to be resisted once more (and removed if possible), Islam purified and Shari`a re-imposed.

HOLY WAR AS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND

With the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979, jihad would no longer be limited to resistance against the cultural and political influence of the secular West or un-Islamic Arab rulers. Although it is true that within Afghanistan, among the Afghans, the motivation to resist Soviet domination did not have to be couched in terms of theology but simply in terms of survival and sovereignty, to the Arab mujahidin recruited by the Palestinian Abdullah Azzam, jihad was a crucial concept, a brand Azzam assiduously built in his travels around the world. Most importantly, Azzam built his jihadist brand in a way that negated earlier requirements for holy war to be declared by a legitimate authority, as he redefined military resistance as an individual duty.

In his introduction to “Defense of Muslim Lands,” he plainly stated that

…if a piece of Muslim land the size of a hand-span is infringed upon, then jihad becomes fard `ayn (a personal obligation) on every Muslim male and female, where the child shall march forward without the permission of its parents and the wife without the permission of the husband.

Azzam invoked Ibn Taymiyya by name to justify his version of self-declared jihad and then warned his audiences of the price they would pay if they did not follow the path of military resistance. Quoting from the Qur’an, sura 9 verse 39: “If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you with another people, and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is able to do all things.”[6] By the late 1980s, Azzam’s rebranding of Muslim holy war in a new political and geostrategic context was so successful that even in the West jihad would become synonymous with guerrilla resistance to communist invasion and dictatorship.

Only after the eventual defeat of the Soviets, the end of the Cold War and the outbreak of the first Gulf War would the seventh and most important redefining of jihad of the sword be born. With Azzam’s death in 1989, his organization of Arab guerrillas, the Mujahidin Services Bureau (MAK), was taken over by his deputy Usama bin Ladin. Rejected by his own government when he offered to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq with his Arab fighters, Bin Ladin would change the mission and name of his organization. The “godless” Russians had been defeated, the bipolar world order replaced by the hegemony of a victorious United States, a country that had been invited to bring its troops and influence into the Arabian Peninsula to defend Saudi Arabia from Iraq. Guerrilla warfare within Saudi Arabia against the apostate House of Saud and against U.S. targets was impractical, if not impossible.

Several influential figures who had followed the teachings of the original Muslim Brotherhood and its leader Hassan al-Banna, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, had, after the severe crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, joined the MAK. Bin Ladin’s Wahhabi understanding of jihad would be suffused with the ideology of the Egyptian Qutbists. What resulted was al-Qa`ida and a new indirect approach to violent jihad. Subsequently, the meaning of jihad was expanded for a seventh time since Muhammad built his empire in the seventh century. The fight would be focused less on irregular warfare in countries where Muslims were suffering and more on the “far enemy,” which they identified as supporters of tyrannical regimes in the Muslim world. With the East Africa embassy bombings, the USS Cole attack and then finally the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, Bin Ladin successfully defined jihad as willful targeting of civilians by a non-state actor through unconventional means. The seventh political definition of jihad, therefore, is terrorism.

CONCLUSION

It is crucial for analysts and strategic planners to fully understand this mutation and evolution of the concept of jihad over time. It is incorrect to see jihad solely as a religious concept referring to the striving of the individual to be pure, because jihad of the sword is referenced in the hadith in multiple instances. It is clear that the meaning of violent jihad has been shaped during the centuries to fit the needs of those espousing holy war and calling their co-religionists to the battlefield. Usama bin Ladin’s great historical significance is that he managed to turn jihad from referring to guerrilla resistance against military oppression of the 1980s to mean the killing of mass numbers of civilians on the soil of non-Muslim lands. Understanding this contextual evolution is critical in the effort to find strategies to weaken al-Qa`ida’s ideology.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka teaches irregular warfare and counterterrorism at the College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University, Washington D.C. He is an Associate Fellow of the Joint Special Operations University (USSOCOM) whose first degree was in Philosophy and Theology. Most recently, he co-authored, with David Kilcullen, “Who’s Winning the Battle for Narrative: Al-Qaida versus the United States and its Allies,” in Influence Warfare (Praeger 2009). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or any other government agency.

[1] Jahiliyya refers to the age of polytheism and “unbelief” that existed before the Prophet Muhammad.[2] The hijra refers to the migration of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina.[3] Ibn Taymiyya, “Rulings of Fighting the Mongols,” fatawa, 28/524.[4] Ibid.; See also Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Shaykh al-Imam: Al-Siyasah al-Shariyah fi Islah al Raiwa Rajyah (Cairo: Dar al-Shab, 1976).[5] Noor Mohammad, “The Doctrine of Jihad: An Introduction,” Journal of Law and Religion 3:2 (1985): p. 396.[6] This is otherwise known as part of the Sura at Taubah (Repentence).

(Originally published 3 October 2009 in the CTC Sentinel, Combating Terrorism Center, West Point)

Revealed: Jihadist Lessons at the Boston Marathon Bombers’ Mosque

islamic-society-of-boston-AP-640x480Breitbart, by ILYA FEOKTISTOV & CHARLES JACOBS, March 27, 2015

The Boston Marathon bombers’ mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), employs an intensive radicalizing program aimed at Boston’s historically moderate Muslim community, especially at its youth. It’s called “Tarbiya,” which is Arabic for “growth and refinement.” It is not something that is practiced as part of classical mainstream Islam.

APT has obtained several curriculum documents created by ISB-affiliated groups, which describe exactly what is taught and when, with assignments detailed down to book and page number. We are making the most detailed and traceable of these documents availablehere and here. We will focus in this article on a particular Tarbiya program called “Young Muslims,” which was explicitly endorsed by Suhaib Webb, the Imam of the ISB’s mega-mosque in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. It lists books that all participants must read, and even includes page numbers for specific assignments (the document was formerly available at the program’s website, and can still be accessed through an archived version of the site).

The authors of many of these books are among the “Who’s Who” of radical Islamic ideologues. A lot of the books are available in the Boston Marathon bombers’ mosque’s library. Major focus is given to books by Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; Said Qutb, the father of modern jihadism; Maulana Maududi, the father of political Islam on the Indian subcontinent; and Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Anti-Defamation League calls the “Theologian of Terror.” Some of the books on the “must read” list have nothing to do with Islam, such as several books written by Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Michael Moore. Having young Muslims read a curriculum that includes far-left atheist authors of Jewish and Christian backgrounds shows that the goal of Tarbiya is not just to develop a Muslim’s spirituality, but also to develop within him a deep animosity to Western democracy.

The ISB and its political arm, the Muslim American Society (MAS), are very open about the program’s existence and even have websites dedicated to it. MAS teaches Tarbiya at each of its dozens of chapters across the United States, and the entire national Tarbiya program happens to be led by the Imam of the Boston Marathon bombers’ ISB Cambridge mosque, Basyouni Nehela. MAS describes Tarbiya in these terms:

MAS aspires to raise a generation of committed and disciplined Muslims who will spread the message of Islam and implement the Movement’s vision in all fields of Islamic work[.] … MAS delivers a rigorous educational curriculum to its current and potential members … The focus of Tarbiya is to groom members who… are equipped with the necessary knowledge, understanding, and skills to make a difference in the society by taking an active role, both individually and collectively, in the reform process that seeks the betterment of our community, our country, and the whole world.

The description of the program makes it seem like yet another benign new-agey spirituality and growth system. That is because, while it is openly advertised, the extremist and jihadist aspects of its curriculum are not – both for the sake of keeping this radical indoctrination from outside scrutiny and for the sake of keeping it, at first, from the Muslim youths who are thinking about joining it.

Indeed, a “Young Muslim” first entering the program will not be reading any extremist authors for a very long time. The first phase of the program is dedicated to completely legitimate religious learning. Participants read the Quran and other Islamic religious texts. They learn about the life of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad, and they study the importance of the Five Pillars of Islam: declaration of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage.

But soon, those participants who show a high level of dedication, zeal, and religiosity, of willingness to internalize everything that has been taught to them, are told that simply praying and giving charity are not enough. At this next stage of Tarbiya, they are assigned books, such as Let Us Be Muslims by jihadist ideologue Maulana Maududi, who provides them with the core Islamist idea: Muslims need to be more than pious; they need to rule over all mankind:

Brothers in Islam! The Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and Pilgrimage are so important that they are described as the pillars of Islam. They are not, however, like the worship rites in other religions. […]

These acts of worship have in fact been ordained to prepare us for a greater purpose and to train us for a greater duty… What exactly is that great ultimate purpose? Stated simply: the ultimate objective of Islam is to abolish the lordship of man over man and bring him under the rule of the One God. To stake everything you have – including your lives – to achieve this purpose is called Jihad.

Having thus channeled the zealous young Muslim’s sincere religious devotion into an extremist agenda, the third stage of Tarbiya indoctrination consists entirely of incitement to violent Jihad, hatred for America, and of Western civilization in general. It is in this stage that young Muslims study in detail the Islamist corollary to Mein Kampf or theCommunist Manifesto: Said Qutb’s Milestones, which outlines a road map to establishing a global Islamic State ruled by Sharia law. It is Said Qutb who inspired Osama Bin Laden. According to Qutb:

All Jewish and Christian societies today are also ignorant societies… Islam cannot accept any mixing with this ignorance… One should accept the Islamic law without any question and reject all other laws in any shape or form… The abolition of man-made laws cannot be achieved only through preaching… It must employ Jihad.

By the time a young Muslim Tarbiya participant reaches this phase, he has already bought in to all the indoctrination in the previous phases that brought him there. The books he studies in the third phase, such as To Be a Muslim by Lebanese Muslim Brotherhood leader Fathi Yakun tell him:

A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death in order to reach his ultimate goal… Obedience for a Muslim means to obey every command and implement it whether in time of happiness or hardship, and whether one likes it or not… He will not act against the leader in agreed matters, and will be loyal to him in every action, regardless of his personal likes or dislikes… Dissociate yourself from every gathering or organization that opposes your ideological standpoint, especially when the Movement asks you to do so.

A key component of Tarbiya is not just the material taught, but the structure of the program, in which recruits are organized into intimate cells called “usras.” MAS is considered by Federal prosecutors to be the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, and the program directly follows the methods developed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s founders in Egypt. Eric Trager, an expert on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has lectured about the Brotherhood’s Tarbiya process in Egypt:

At the lowest level of the Brotherhood structure is what’s called an usra, or “family.” You can think of this as a cell. This is a group of five to eight Muslim Brothers. They meet weekly for about three hours. They discuss the Quran, religious texts, the Brotherhood’s curriculum, politics. They share their personal lives. The members of this group become a Muslim Brother’s best friends. The people that you work most closely with are in your usra. The usra is a mechanism through which the Brotherhood embeds your social relationships into the organization so that you’re less likely to disobey it due to peer pressure and you’re less likely to leave it because you’ll be leaving your best friends.

This is exactly how the MAS branch in Boston describes its usras:

The usra is an intensive, spiritually-focused, activism-oriented program that develops the individual and invites him or her to join hands with MAS and work for the sake of Islam as a central priority in life. There are weekly assignments prior to and following each usra. Each member is expected to spend approximately 3-6 hours a week on usra and usra-related activities (usra attendance [~ 2 hours], usra assignments [1-2 hrs], dawah work (example MSA work, MAS Youth work, or other Islamic work, etc) [3 hrs], social activities [2 hours /month].) Each usra generally contains around 5-7 members.

MAS demands that those entering its Tarbiya program be “willing to be committed to theusra and hold working for Islam as a central priority in life.” ISB Roxbury Imam Suhaib Webb defines the usra as: “the usra is you’re in the ocean swimming, you’re lost, your boat sunk and suddenly you see some people on the boat, you get there and they give you a blanket and a cup of soup, that’s the usra.” All of this makes leaving the MAS/ISB program extremely difficult. It also makes it extremely likely that if a young Muslim participant is encouraged by his usra leader to do something terrible for the sake of the movement, he will gladly comply, even if this means prison or death. The usra system of the Tarbiya program is less similar to a religious requirement than it is to the demands of a criminal enterprise. These methods used by MAS/ISB are much like the techniques that gangs and mafia groups use to recruit and maintain a death grip on their members.

We do not know who, if anyone, encouraged the Tsarnaev brothers to bomb the Boston Marathon. We think it was extremely unlikely that any ISB or MAS leader told them to do it and taught them how to make the bombs. The slow and steady work of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, referred to by Islamism experts as “the stealth or civilization jihad,” aims – not through violence, but through pressure and persuasion (“Dawa” in Arabic) – to gradually move Western Muslim youths into its camp. The ISB and MAS are experiencing success, probably beyond their expectations, in posing as moderates and becoming accepted into Boston civic society. This success includes positive coverage in the mainstream press, support from mainstream politicians, and access to new unsuspecting recruits within Boston’s traditionally moderate Muslim community. Why risk all of that with a bomb that only can set the effort back? The Tarbiya curriculum repeatedly states that the time for violent jihad has not yet come – much preparation work still needs to be done. The Muslim Brotherhood’s program will always have this fundamental problem: when you tell teenagers that something can be a good thing to do, but “not yet”– whether it be sex or alcohol or violent jihad– you will surely find that some will jump the gun.

* * * *

On the other hand… As he lay wounded and hiding inside a boat stored for the winter in a suburban Boston-area backyard on April 19th, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev penciled a confession on the 22-foot cruiser’s walls. Four days prior, he and his brother exploded twin homemade pressure cooker bombs at the 117th Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264. Less than 24 hours before Dzhokhar was eventually discovered by the boat owner, the Tsarnaev brothers ambushed and murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier, hijacked a Mercedes SUV, and engaged in a fierce 8-minute gun battle with cops before Dzhokhar drove the SUV over his brother, Tamerlan, and escaped. Tamerlan died shortly thereafter, but, as he waited for his inevitable capture or death, Dzhokhar took the time to list his grievances in detail. The jury at his currently ongoing trial saw the boat and the wall panel bearing Dzhokhar’s message:

“Our actions came with a message and that is la ilaha illalah [there is no god but Allah]. We are promised victory and we will surely get it. […]

“We will pursue this evil force to its own lands, invade its Western heartland, and struggle to overcome it until all the world shouts by the name of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam spread throughout the world. […]

“Know you are fighting men who look into the barrel of your gun and see heaven, now how can you compete with that. […]

“Regularly make the intention to go on jihad with the ambition to die as a martyr. You should be ready for this right now. […]

“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. […]

“A Muslim has no relatives except those who share the belief in Allah. […]

“The ummah is beginning to rise/awaken [bullet hole] has awoken the Mujahideen.”

“To be true Muslims, we must be Mujahideen. We can no more sit back passively; we must try, actively, to change history, that is, wage Jihad.

Only the odd-number passages above were actually written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the inside of the boat. The rest come from books taught as part of the Young Muslims Tarbiya program.

Muslims have lived in Boston since the early 20th century. Islam has existed for over 1,400 years. Yet Tarbiya did not exist until it was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1930s as a cultic innovation within the religion of Islam. This cult did not begin to affect Boston’s historically moderate Muslim community until the 1990s, with the creation of the Boston marathon bombers’ mosque and the takeover of many other local Muslim institutions.

The correlation between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s note in the boat and what is being taught to Boston’s Muslims through the ISB/MAS Tarbiya program is striking. These kinds of teachings, as APT board member and moderate Muslim Sheikh Ahmed Mansour says, put a bomb in a young Muslim’s heart. Unless the Tarbiya program is exposed and terminated, there will be others who will take the bombs in their hearts and recreate them in real life, just as the Tsarnaevs did on April 15th, 2013.

Charles Jacobs is president and Ilya Feoktistov is research director of Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

‘DESTROYING WESTERN CIVILIZATION FROM WITHIN’

observant-baseWND, By Bruce Phillips, March 2, 2015:

In his three most recent columns, Bruce Phillips, who has nearly 40 years of experience in Middle East affairs, examined whether or not the Palestinian party Fatah is really as moderate is it is often portrayed by media an government. Part 1 provided an analysis of Fatah’s own trademark logos and posters while Part 2 looked at recent statements and actions of Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas and current Fatah leadership. In his third column, he spotlighted “The word that motivates global Islamic jihad.”

[Note from the author: As with all of my articles, none of the terms or phrases used here are of my own invention; every term or phrase is derived from primary Islamic sources, such as the Quran, Hadith, Tafsir and Shariah. I encourage everyone to access the hyperlinked references, then evaluate each for accuracy and completeness.]

This is the latest in an ongoing series of articles dealing with complex, sometimes abstract, subjects, which are often counterintuitive to those of us in the non-Islamic West. By counterintuitive, I mean there are times when it is almost impossible for us to believe that the authorized Islamic sources mean exactly what they say. Nonetheless, if we hope to preserve any chance of victory against the escalating threat we face, we must endeavor to master this sometimes unpleasant subject; we must, as Abraham Lincoln said, “disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall help save our country, the last best hope on earth.”

The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of “expanding the observant Muslim base” (al-Qaida al-Islamia al-Moltzema), which is a tactical term found in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document known as the Explanatory Memorandum. In Arabic, the document is a concise, densely written manifesto – not a word is arbitrary or incidental. Saturated with iconic language, it distills 1,400 years of strategy and tactics used since the time of Muhammad to advance the “global Islamic state.” (Also see “The Quranic Concept of War“).

Since 9-11, we’ve heard the term al-Qaida (“the base,” or القاعدة in Arabic) almost every day. However, al-Qaida is not just the name of a hydra-like global terrorist organization. It is also an abstract concept, with a deep ocean of Islamic history behind it.

For example, after Muhammad established his final Qaida in Medina in A.D. 622, it became the power base of Islam for the next hundred years, initially under Muhammad’s leadership and then under four “rightly guided caliphs.”

Also, as we see reflected on TV regularly, the black flag of jihad displayed so prominently by ISIS features the “seal of Muhammad,” which goes back to the founding of Islam in A.D. 610.

The Muslim Brotherhood has maintained a highly visible leading role in the global effort to “expand the observant Muslim base” since it was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna in close collaboration with Sayyid Qutb.

After these two “founding fathers” summarized and published the goals and operational tactics of Islam, they began attracting thousands of dedicated followers from countries all over the world. To this day, the Muslim Brotherhood remains the largest and most well-organized Islamic organization on earth. Not only that, but it continues providing a solid, reliable theological and political base to fellow members in nearly every country in the world.

Meanwhile, as a relatively small but financially influential Islamic community began to coalesce in North America, a group (see Figure 1 above) of respected Muslim Brotherhood leaders summarized the same strategic goals and tactics discussed by al-Banna and Qutb in a format tailored to fit the theological and socio-political challenges faced by Muslims living in a wealthy, predominantly non-Islamic region. These members of the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference called this carefully crafted strategic and tactical communiqué the “”An Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America.”

It is important to recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood summarized the goals and tactics for “expanding the observant Muslim base” more than 10 years before Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri helped form a global coalition of 12 Islamist groups called the World Islamic Front (aka the global jihad front or al-Qaida), then declared jihad on America and Israel on Feb. 23, 1998.

In fact, Zawahiri, who is the current leader of al-Qaida, was not only a member of the Brotherhood in his native Egypt but also bases his operational templates on the views of prominent Islamic theorists like al-Banna and Qutb.

Despite the fact that the Explanatory Memorandum was introduced as prima facie evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, many today still do not realize that the ideology of a wide spectrum of Islamic macro-groups, such as Al-Shabaab, Hamas, ISIS and the World Islamic Front are all based on exactly the same aggressive goals and concepts that were summarized and endorsed in 1987 by the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.

In simple terms, every Islamic group mentioned above is engaged in their own regional version of “expanding the observant Muslim base.”

Finally, as I discussed earlier in “The word that motivates global Islamic jihad,” much of the catalyst for this expansion comes from “push back” (aka “Islamophobia”) encountered by the Muslim community in North America. The Explanatory Memorandum is very concise and comprehensive, and includes tactical principals – “operative verbs” –designed to overcome and neutralize this “push-back,” which is also described as a “civilizational alternative” or “civilizational jihad.”

Here is how the Explanatory Memorandum addresses the problem of “push-back” from the resistant, non-Muslims they encounter: “The process of settlement is a Civilization-Jihadist Process with all the word means. The Ikhwan (‘brothers’ in Arabic) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it (fitnah) is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

As discussed in my column on fitnah, or “resistance,” the concept is derived directly from Quran 2.193 and 8.39.

How the Explanatory Memorandum was discovered

In August 2004, a Maryland Transportation Authority police officer conducted a traffic stop after observing someone videoing the support structures of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. As it turns out, the driver was Ismail Selim Elbarasse, who was already wanted in connection with fundraising for Hamas. The FBI subsequently executed a search warrant on Elbarasse’s residence, where agents found 80 boxes of archived documents hidden in a sub-basement.

The search led to a remarkable discovery. Among the thousands of documents found, one of the most revealing was “An Explanatory Memorandum On The General Strategic Goal For The Group In North America.”

Originally commissioned in 1987 by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, it was not officially released to the board of directors until 1991. It may just be a coincidence, but it is plausible that the same Muslim Brotherhood members who commissioned the memorandum also authorized the 1988 Hamas Charter. In any event, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, pursues the exact same goals and objectives found in the document and even uses the same slogan as the Muslim Brotherhood: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Approved by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura Council, or organizational conference, for internal use only, the document was never mean to become public. For this reason, it is both an Enigma Code and the Rosetta Stone of the global Islamic movement

Like the Enigma Code, it was meant to remain hidden but now provides the key to deciphering the strategy and tactics of the movement. And, like the Rosetta Stone, it enables those of us in the non-Islamic world to discern the commonly held strategic and tactical doctrines of every Muslim organization in the world.

The Explanatory Memorandum was written by a former U.S. resident and still-active senior Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas leader, Mohamed Akram (aka Mohamed Akram Adlouni, aka Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni). To this day, Muslim apologists insist Akram is an obscure, “self-described” fringe member of the Brotherhood and that the document is the “product of either of the Muslim lunatic fringe or of the Islamophobic lunatic fringe.”

However, Akram is currently the president of an organization listed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Al-Quds International, which not only remains a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial but is a well-known fundraiser for Hamas in Asia and Europe. Akram was also listed in a 1992 “phonebook” included as evidence in the discovery phase of the Holy Land Foundation trial, where he is listed as a member of both the board of directors and the executive office (See page 3 and 15, respectively).

Regarding the “lunatic fringe” argument, the Explanatory Memorandum will never become obsolete or outdated, because it is based entirely on the Quran and Hadith. The strategy and tactics described in the document are exactly the same today as they were 30 years ago when it was written and exactly the same as they were 1,400 years ago, when Islam was founded.

Relevant current events

On Jan. 28, we learned that high-level officials at the U.S. State Department had hosted meetings with several “former” members of the Freedom & Justice Party, the well-known political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Samuel Taros of the Hudson Institute observed that the visit served two goals: “First, to organize the pro MB movement in the US” and, second, to “reach out to administration and the policy community in DC.”

He added that the delegation’s composition was designed to portray “an image of a united Islamist and non-Islamist revolutionary camp against the [Abdul Fattah al-Sisi] regime.”

Just two days later, it was revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt posted a message on its official website stating that it “is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase … where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves … to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom.”

The official announcement also referred to Muslim Brotherhood founder al-Banna, stating “Imam Al-Banna prepared the Jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers, and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan Al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers.”

In retrospect, these sharply contradictory statements – saying one thing in English and something entirely different in Arabic – are common and are very similar in nature to the Jan. 11 appearance of Mahmoud Abbas at the Charlie Hebdo solidarity march while on the same day his Fatah organization posted violent pictures and statements on its official website.

Despite claims by the State Department that the meetings were “routine,” on Jan. 31, 2014, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry said that the reasons for the meetings were “not understandable, as they are not a political party, and according to the Egyptian law they should be treated as a terrorist group.”

Along with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also have declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group.

Incidentally, the word “prepare” (Wa-Aiddu), which is mentioned several times in the above quotes, is taken directly from Quran 8.60 and is prominently displayed in the Muslim Brotherhood logo.

The verse reads: “Prepare for them whatever force and tethered horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not.”

In other words, preparing forces to terrify your enemies is the iconic theme of a supposedly moderate Muslim organization, which currently enjoys unprecedented direct access to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

To finish up this section, there is a revealing point of contact, a nexus, between the Freedom & Justice Party representatives who met at the State Department, the Muslim Brotherhood members who posted the call to jihad on their website and the ideology found in the Explanatory Memorandum.

The point of contact is al-Banna, an open advocate of offensive jihad who was honored in the Explanatory Memorandum in the following concluding passage: “This paragraph was delayed … to stress its utmost importance as it constitutes the heart and core of this memorandum. … It suffices to say that the first pioneer of this phenomenon [i.e., doing Jihad] was our prophet Muhammad … as he placed the foundation for the first civilized organization, which is the mosque. … And this was done by the pioneer of the contemporary Islamic Dawah (“promotion of Islam”), Imam martyr Hasan al-Banna … when he and his brothers felt the need to re-establish Islam and its movement anew, leading him to establish organizations with all their kinds.”

Conclusion

At this point, it would be fair to ask whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to “expand the observant Muslim base” in North America have been successful. The objective answer would be an unqualified yes.

Despite the constant focus on “Islamophobia” by Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, there has actually been a wave of conversions to Islam, while the population of Muslims in America has nearly doubled since 9/11. In addition, the number of mosques has also nearly doubled since 9/11.

More importantly, the less visible strategic goals of creating a “central political party, [influencing] local political offices and political symbols, [building] relationships and alliances, and establishing an American Organization for Islamic Political Action ” have probably succeeded far beyond what Muhammad Akram Al-Adlouni and the other members of the Shura Council in North America ever expected.

Saudi Journalist: Muslim Brotherhood Ideology Created AQ’s Bin Laden, ISIS’s Baghdadi

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Feb. 16, 2015:

Saudi journalist Mshari Al-Zaydi, who has spent his career covering Islamic fundamentalist movements, penned an op-ed in Asharq Al-Awsat where he wrote “the Muslim Brotherhood will never change” when it comes to promoting radical Islam.

Al-Zaydi writes, “There is currently a global trend towards reconsidering the definition of the Brotherhood out of the sense that its very existence, ideology and activities represent a major source of harmful political activities and extremism.”

He mentions the ongoing investigations into the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) that are being conducted by the French and British governments, which seek to determine the threat posed by the group. Al-Zaydi explains that Egypt and the UAE are ahead of the curve when they “regard the Brotherhood as an illegal and illegitimate group.”

The author continues, explaining that the ideologies of MB founder Hassan Al-Banna and its predominant theorist, Sayyid Qutb, started a movement that would result in the creation of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

He writes: “Without people like Sayyid Qutb and Hassan Al-Banna, and books likeMilestones, and The Messages of Da’wa, or concepts like Al-Hakimiyyah (divine rule) and Ustaziatul Alam (mastership of the world,) there would have been no Islamist terrorism today. There would be no terrorist chiefs like Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi or Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. There would be no Khalid Islambouli, who assassinated President Sadat. There would be no jihadist ideologues like Abdullah Azzam, Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani.”

Al-Zaydi explains that his aforementioned who’s who of terrorists all “initially drew their ideology from the Brotherhood source.”

“The Brotherhood served as a social and educational incubator for even more dangerous views and ideologies. Even the Brotherhood’s own views represent a destructive and misleading web of deception, the group forces its own worldview on its followers, ensuring that they view everything from just one narrow perspective,” concluded Al-Zaydi.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna shortly after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The terror outfit has never amended its goal of seeking worldwide domination in the form of a Sunni Islamic Caliphate. al-Banna said of the MB’s goals, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” The slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood reads, “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Muslim Brothers Can’t Bring Themselves to Criticize Islamic State

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Feb. 5, 2015:

Its a convenient notion that the barbaric decision to burn Jordanian pilot LT. Moaz al-Kasasbeh alive is a step too far even for the Sharia enforcers of the Islamic State, and that as a result we can expect a wave of rejection across the Arab world which might arise to shake off the Islamic State like a dog shaking off fleas.

Islamic LawUnfortunately, contrary to the belief of President Obama, the ideology of Islamic State isn’t bankrupt, but is based on the Islamic law. The execution itself was based on two concepts. The first, that because al-Kasabeh had conducted bombing missions against the Islamic State, by burning him and burying him in rubble they were essentially meting out a punishment equivalent to being bombed. This concept that retaliation should be equivalent to the offense is called qisas. It is the same reason a Saudi court ruled a man’s back should be broken after the man paralyzed someone. It’s based off the quranic citation Sura 16:126, “And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed. But if you are patient – it is better for those who are patient.”

Secondly, Islamic State cited medieval Islamic scholar ibn Taymiyyah, whose works on takfir (declaring as an apostate one who violates Islamic law, rather than only those who affirm their own apostasy) are heavily cited by many modern jihadists. Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb utilized Ibn Taymiyyah in establishing the Brotherhood’s practice of applying the concept of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance) to modern Arab regimes thus justifying them as targets of a legitimate jihad.

It’s thus no surprise that while many were up in arms about ISIS’ decision, Muslim Brotherhood cleric Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, tweeted a defense of ISIS, and their citation of Ibn Taymiyyah, saying that those who reject Ibn Taymiyyah, reject the Quran (H/T to@iaskmaie on Twitter for finding and translating the tweet which few if any have picked up on.) Al-Zindani is an influential leader of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood’s Al-Islah Party. Al Zindani is also a specially designated global terrorist by the U.S. Treasury  Department due to his role in the Union of the Good, which supports Hamas, and his influence on Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Nor is Al-Zindani alone. The watchdog group MEMRI recently published a Jordanian media video where Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Sheikh Hamza Mansour  patently refused to identify the Islamic State as a terrorist group, despite pressure from the interviewer:

Interviewer: Is ISIS a terrorist organization?

Hamza Mansour: There are terrorists of every sort – Sunnis, Shiites, Muslims, Christians, Jews…

Interviewer: The Islamic State organization, sir – do you consider it to be terrorist?

Hamza Mansour: There is no definition of terrorism today. Anybody who says a couple of words is automatically considered a terrorist. We condemn terrorism in all its shapes and sizes.

Interviewer: And ISIS?

Hamza Mansour: Let me tell you….

Interviewer: I’m asking a clear question. I insist on getting an answer. This is a yes/no question.

Hamza Mansour: I condemn terrorism in all forms. Are you giving me the third degree?

While it’s certainly true that there is outrage around the globe, the underpinnings of Islamic State, through Al Qaeda, to the Muslim Brotherhood, to Shariah law itself, remain in place, and they will continue to be influential to those attracted to the cause of establishing the Caliphate and instituting Islamic law. Underestimating that appeal or focusing solely on the brutal reality of the Islamic State instead of the intellectual and ideological framework built by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood (which has itself issued a call to jihad against Egypt), is a recipe for continued failure in defeating not just ISIS but the Global Jihad Movement more generally.

Defining Jihad Downward

Screen-Shot-2014-12-12-at-2.44.37-PM-190x142CSP, By Kyle Shideler:

My colleague Adam Savit has already taken the BBC to task for their write up of a recent report on Jihadist violence in the month of November, which neglected to include the murder of Israelis. This led me to drill down deeper into the report by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political violence. Not only did the report neglect to include Hamas violence in its study of jihadi attacks, but it does so explicitly and intentionally. The report notes:

This definition excludes Shia militant groups such as Hezbollah that justify fighting in the name of jihad but are located outside the Sunni tradition. Indeed, the jihadists of al Qaeda, the Islamic State and like-minded groups regard Hezbollah as ‘apostates’ and have been among the most vociferous opponents of Shia militant groups in places like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

The definition also excludes the Palestinian group Hamas which advocates ‘jihad’ and – unlike Hezbollah – is widely recognized as Sunni. Its religious, social and political doctrine, however, is not Salafist.
Jihadist groups such as al Qaeda have repeatedly condemned Hamas for recognizing man-made laws and becoming involved in democratic elections, while Hamas, in turn, has repressed – and fought against – jihadist groups.

This justification is at best ignorant, and at worst mendacious.

While it is true that Hezbollah is fighting Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Syria, Hezbollah also has a long history of cooperation with Al Qaeda. Are the authors of this report unaware that it was Hezbollah which introduced Al Qaeda to the truck bombing techniques used in the Africa Embassy bombings (a role for which they have been held responsible in court) and that relationships between Iran’s terrorist facilitators the IRGC, Hezbollah and AL Qaeda were forged during the Pan Arab and Islamic Conference held by Sudan in the 1990s? Perhaps they are equally unaware that Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, has been held responsible for its role in 9/11 in federal court, due to its role in facilitating the movement of the hijackers, and that the 9/11 Commission notes the role of Hezbollah’s master terrorist Imad Mugniyeh in assisting the 9/11 attacks? One supposes that given its narrow justification the ICSR would not consider the  Embassy bombings or the 9/11 attacks  “jihadist” violence either.

Then there is the ICSR’s statement on Hamas. Hamas is the wing of the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for engaging in jihad terror against Israel. Hamas is completely open about this connection, having documented it in its original founding charter. Hamas was perhaps best described by leading Hamas representative Ismail Haniyeh who remarked that Hamas is the “jihadi movement of the Brotherhood with a Palestinian face.” From its earliest foundation, The Muslim Brotherhood’s own founder Hasan Al-Banna described his movement as consisting of “a Salafiyya message…”  Prior to founding the Brotherhood Al-Banna was himself a member of the Salafi groups, including the Society for the Prevention of the Forbidden.

Further more, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb’s most important work “Milestones”, was a major inspiration for Osama Bin Laden (according to the 9/11 Commission report again) and consists entirely of a discussion regarding how to restore the world to Islam, while using the methods of the early Muslims (i.e. Salaf).  The original founder of the MAK (Afghan Service Bureau) Abdullah Azzam together with Osama Bin Laden, and the author of “In Defense of Muslim Lands” the doctrinal work which best established Jihad as an fard al-ayn (individual obligation), was both a Muslim Brother and a co-founder of Hamas.  Azzam’s picture is still visible in the offices of Hamas today.

Besides Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam,  other Muslim Brotherhood members have also played a key role in creating the very doctrine of Al Qaeda, such as Abdul Mjid Aziz Al-Zindani, the leading cleric of the Yemeni branch of Muslim Brotherhood, was a close mentor of Osama Bin Laden and a contact of the AQ-linked Ansar al-Islam.  Al-Zindani was also a board member of the specially designated entity the Union of the Good, an organization run by Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi, whose primary purpose is to fund Hamas.

The claim by ICSR that Hezbollah and Hamas should be excluded from an accounting of Jihadist violence merely because they (at times) have disagreed with Al Qaeda or other jihadist groups is utterly inane. After all Al Qaeda and ISIS are currently locked in a struggle themselves (see for example this video released today by MEMRI featuring ISIS members interrogating Jabhat al Nusra members and denouncing them as apostates), and Muslim Brotherhood-linked militias in the Syrian civil war fight alongside Al Qaeda, and yet the ICSR can’t quite bring itself to declare that Al Qaeda is not a jihadist group.

Jihad as religiously-obligatory warfare to establish Islamic law remains a concept which extends across both Sunni and Shia sects, and amongst all schools of Islamic law. There is no legitimate justification for excluding these groups, and to do so is to reduce the term “jihad” or “jihadist violence” until it is becomes meaningless. The reality is that Jihadist violence is a threat larger than simply just the “Salafi-jihadi” matrix which some insist on shoving it into.

White House Label of Brotherhood as Non-Violent Patently False

Christian Copts protest the killing of their brethren by Muslim Brotherhood supporters after former President Mohammed Morsi took over office in Egypt. Morsi represented the Brotherhood's "Freedom and Justice" party. (Photo: © Reuters)

Christian Copts protest the killing of their brethren by Muslim Brotherhood supporters after former President Mohammed Morsi took over office in Egypt. Morsi represented the Brotherhood’s “Freedom and Justice” party. (Photo: © Reuters)

Facts prove the Brotherhood’s violent history. The White House itself has condemned the organization’s calls to violence.

By Ryan Mauro:

The White House has rejected a request to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, describing the group as non-violent. The statement is not only at odds with known facts; it’s at odds with statements made by the White House only one year ago.

The White House statement came in response to a petition with 200,000 signatures citing the Brotherhood’s history of violence and how its preachers, particularly Sayyid Qutb, have bred multitudes of terrorists. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recently banned the Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

“We have not seen credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence,” the White House said.

Yet, on July 8, 2013, the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “We also condemn the explicit calls to violence made by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Alleged Brotherhood Rejection of Violence

Firstly, the White House and many Western officials are misinterpreting an alleged repudiation of violence by the Muslim Brotherhood after the execution of Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb in 1966.

The reason for the use of the word “alleged” is because there is no Muslim Brotherhood manifesto of unequivocal non-violence anywhere to be found. For all the talk of this momentous change, the Brotherhood has never produced  an authoritative declaration explaining this supposed ideological moderation.

The only cited text is a book with a translated title of “Preachers, Not Judges” or “Missionaries, Not Judges.” Sources differ as to whether it was published in 1969 or 1977, and it is said to have been written by the Muslim Brotherhood’s General Guide, Hasan al-Hudaybi, as he sat in an Egyptian prison.

The book is marked as the “moment” the Brotherhood transformed from a militant group to a non-violent educational group. It is often described as a formal rebuttal to the teachings of Sayyid Qutb.

However, top experts have concluded that the text was not even written by Al-Hudaybi, nor is there any evidence that it was written or endorsed by the Brotherhood.

One such expert is Dr. Barbara Zollner, Director of Islamic Studies at Birbeck College, University of London. Zollner wrote her doctoral thesis on the text; she also wrote a book about Al-Hudaybi.

“Overall, my argument is that Preachers, Not Judges was not written by Hassan al-Hudaybi, and secondly, it is not written as a response to Sayyid Qutb,” she says.

Zollner theorizes that the book is a product of the Egyptian government and Al-Azhar University based on the accounts of Egyptian officials and Brotherhood leaders at the time.

In fact, the book doesn’t even mention Qutb or call on Muslims to discard his preaching. Far from casting Qutb aside, the Brotherhood still exalts him and hasn’t lifted a finger to promote this alleged Al-Hudaybi text. Al-Hudaybi himself never promoted it.

On the contrary. “Qutb’s Signposts remains a standard part of the organization’s introductory membership curriculum … while Preachers, Not Judges has not been reprinted in Egypt for more than three decades and hasn’t appeared in print anywhere in the Arabic world since 1985,” explains Patrick Poole.

If this book were so seminal, the Brotherhood would at least have translated it into English and disseminated it. But, it has not, even though the Brotherhood has a frequently updated English-language website and Twitter handle.

One thing the book does is to rebut the Muslim doctrine of takfirism, a practice where Muslims declare another Muslim as an apostate without a trial or proof of treason. As can be seen historically and today, Takfirism leads to Muslim-on-Muslim violence because it enables Muslim extremists to unilaterally judge a co-religionist’s faith and essentially sentence him or her to death.

The Brotherhood and its apologists will counter that this analysis is proof that the Brotherhood proclaims non-violence today.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is committed to peaceful opposition action. It rejects all forms of violence,” it said in September.

The context of this quote is important. It was said by the Foreign Affairs Secretary of the Brotherhood’s political wing in Egypt, the Freedom and Justice Party, about  Egypt and only about Egypt.

A “Non-Violent” Group That Supports Violence Outside of Egypt

Western governments fail to understand that this stance is limited only to Egypt and is in accordance with the Brotherhood doctrine of “gradualism;” a pragmatic strategy of incremental change during periods of weakness.

Contrary to the White House’s statement, the Brotherhood does notrule out violence or terrorism entirely. In fact, it actively encourages violence in places outside of Egypt.

Tellingly, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, Hamas, is officially designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States.

Hamas’ charter states in Part 1, Article 2 that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era.”

In 2006, senior Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian said, “Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

In 2011, Hamas officially changed its name to include, “a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood—Palestine.” The following year, a video appeared showing Hamas leaders, including Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, declaring allegiance to the Brotherhood and specifically to its jihad.

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have never denied their affiliation, nor have they ever condemned each other or severed ties. It is an indisputable affiliation. Former Egyptian President Morsi was actually the main liaison between Hamas and the Egyptian Brotherhood before getting into power.

The Muslim Brotherhood overtly endorses the violent destruction of Israel, suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. This fact also has never been disputed by the Brotherhood.

These facts not only discredit the White House’s position that the Brotherhood is non-violent, they discredits the White House’s position that the Brotherhood is not a terrorist group.

Read more at Clarion Project

Why Al-Qaeda Just Won’t Die

OsombieBy Sebastian Gorka:

These days, zombies are all the rage. Viewing figures for the season finale of the hit show The Walking Dead are to be envied. Blockbuster movies featuring Brad Pitt proclaim the genre, as do popular books reconceiving Jane Austen among the living dead.

Perhaps this is no coincidence. The fascination with zombies may be fed subconsciously by a real-world global foe which bears more than a passing resemblance to George Romero’s iconic monsters. Al-Qaeda, even if not actually peopled by animated corpses, is a cult of death. Ayman al-Zawahiri said exactly that when he declared that he and his cohorts love death more than we love life. On top of that, it seems that—despite declarations to the contrary from the White House and more than thirteen years of U.S. counterterrorism operations—al-Qaeda is far from deceased.

Slide2_0In fact, in at least one respect, al-Qaeda may be even worse than the menace of the walking dead. In the latter’s case, they at least have the decency to die when you strike them hard enough in the head. Not so with al-Qaeda. We killed Osama bin Laden, its founder and head, more than two years ago, yet the body of jihadi terrorism fights on. So much so that in his recent open testimony before Congress, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated that al Qaeda now has operational centers in in twelve nations around the world, from Mali to Syria.(1) By way of comparison, in 2001, when we started the war against al-Qaeda, it had operations centers in just one country: Afghanistan. Indeed, as the graph below, based upon open-source unclassified databases illustrates, al-Qaeda is on the rise.

So why is it proving so hard to kill al-Qaeda? Because as a nation we have broken the fundamental rules of strategy: we have failed to execute an objective analysis of why the threat exists and what it wants. Worse, in the last four years we have distorted reality even further by allowing preconceived notions and politically driven strictures to influence and limit our understanding of the enemy.

Know Thine Enemy

I spend my days teaching strategy to the military, federal law enforcement and their intelligence community colleagues. Whoever the audience, we always start in the same place: if you have an enemy that you want to defeat, you have to know who they are, where they came from and what their strategy is. The military calls this an Estimate of the Situation, or more operationally, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield. In the decade-plus war with al-Qaeda, we have been erratic and counterfactual in our EoS and IPB.

After 9/11, the President declared a global war on “terror.” The term was an odd one, for terror is the tool of several types of actor, especially dictators who use it systematically against their own people and dissidents abroad. Yet our GWOT was not targeted against recognized practitioners of terror, such as the Kim dynasty in North Korea or the mullahs in Iran. Nor did our global campaign target all terrorist groups. We did not deploy Delta Force against Basque separatists in Spain, or the eco-terrorist ELF (Earth Liberation Front), but against a very specific foe: those that were responsible for the attacks of 9/11. Those “practitioners of terror” justified their murder of unarmed civilians with a religious narrative that saw the West—Dar al Harb, or the House of War—as having declared war on Islam, and had as their strategic objective the re-establishment of the theocratic empire of Islam known as the Caliphate.

Yet from the very start, the President and his team assiduously disassociated al-Qaeda from Islam, representing bin Laden and his followers as renegade extremists whose actions were un-Islamic. This, despite the fact that their fatwas leveraged the words of Allah and Mohammed, those Koranic passages and sections of the Haddith (sayings and tales of Mohammed) that explicitly call for the death of the infidel.(2)

To be clear, as a nation America was never at war with Islam. Nor is it now. We are, however, at war with people who have a fundamental understanding of Islam, and whose broader legitimacy is very difficult to theologically undermine due to their reliance on the ancient tenets of an often-violent religion. But what exactly is al-Qaeda, and where did it come from?

Root Causes

The story starts with the Caliphate, which—contrary to popular conception—is not some abstract idea invented by a small group of extremists. The theocratic empire of Islam, the polity that integrated faith and politics and which was founded by Mohammed, existed for over a thousand years. True, its center moved over time, from Mecca to Damascus, then to Baghdad and finally to Istanbul, but it was a real living thing which still existed at the beginning of the 20th century. By then, it was under Turkish control and most people called it the Ottoman Empire. Yet this was the Caliphate, and there was even a Caliph, or emperor of Islam.

Unfortunately for the Ottomans, after World War I broke out they decided to side with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. As a result, by 1918 they were on the losing side of the world’s first global war. In an attempt to salvage the Muslim empire after this defeat, and prevent total dismemberment and disarmament along the lines of what occurred to Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles, the Ottomans reinvented themselves under the leadership of a very charismatic and intelligent army officer named Mustafa Kemal. Kemal, who would later change his name to Atatürk—meaning Father of All Turks—would reinvent the nation that would eventually become the Republic of Turkey.

Atatürk’s strategy was to convince the West that his people no longer were a threat and that his nation should be recognized as a member of their community. This required a wholesale reinvention of his country, the key pillars of which were the separation of Islam and politics and the broader secularization of Turkey. To that end, he not only banned traditional Turkic-Islamic dress for officials of the state but replaced the Arabic alphabet with a modified version of our Roman one.(3) Most significantly, in 1924 Atatürk formally decreed the dissolution of the Caliphate.(4) It is no accident, therefore, that less than five years later in the Suez region of Egypt, one Hasan al-Banna established the Ikwan Muslimin, or Muslim Brotherhood, the avowed mission of which was—and still is—to reestablish the Caliphate which had been “unjustly” dissolved.

After World War I, certain Middle Eastern territories that had been part of the Ottoman Empire were put under the mandate of the British government. These lands include what we today call Israel, as well as the Palestinian territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). After WWII, as violence escalated between Arabs and Jews and between these groups and British mandate forces, London decided that after six years of fighting the Nazis, the British had no future as the governors of the Middle East and pulled out of Palestine. It was under these circumstances that the new Jewish state of Israel was declared.

From the Muslim perspective, and the view of the Arab states that invaded Israel the day after it declared its statehood, this was the second seismic blow to the psyche of the ummah, the global community of Islam. From the perspective of the true believer, this territory is sacred Muslim soil. So much so, that before the Qibla—the Islamic direction of prayer—became Mecca, all Muslims had to face Jerusalem five times a day as they prayed to their creator, Jerusalem being the third holiest site in Islam and the place from which Mohammed was said to have risen into heaven.

However, the most important year of all for anyone who wishes to understand why 9/11 happened and what al-Qaeda stands for, is 1979. In the Muslim world, which follows a shorter lunar calendar initiated when Mohammed journeyed from Mecca to Medina (Yathrib), 1979 represented a turn of the century, the shift from 1399 into the year 1400. And just as with other cultures, there were many in the Muslim world who had great expectations for the new century, that significant events would occur. And so they did.

First came the Iranian Revolution. Although a Shi’a event, it had great ramifications for all Muslims. With the removal of the Shah and the complete rejection of the Western model of the secular nation-state, the revolution had at its core the religious imperative that Islam and politics cannot be separated. That is why the real center of power in the Islamic Republic since 1979 has been a man of the cloth and not a politician. This message of the reintegration of faith and politics and the continued success of Iran in rejecting the Western way of politics is an example to all Muslims.

Second was the attack against the holiest site in Islam: the Siege of the Grand Mosque of Mecca. As the Muslim world was collectively entering the year 1400, more than a thousand jihadi terrorists stormed the Grand Mosque and declared a Holy War against “false Muslims.” The terrorists managed to control the most important site in Islam, the epicenter of the annual hajj pilgrimage, for almost two weeks. More importantly, it turned out that the radicals had been encouraged and in fact blessed by members of the Saudi ulema, or clerical class, who agreed that Islam had lost its way and had to be cleansed by force.

The siege was eventually broken by French commandos who had been smuggled into Mecca after being hastily converted to Islam. But the true geostrategic significance of the attack came afterwards, as the King of Saudi Arabia, in an effort to secure the House of Saud, made a pact with the ulema who had endorsed the jihad.(5) The deal was straightforward: in exchange for the support and patronage of the monarchy, the clerics would not propagate the ideology of jihad on the soil of the Kingdom. However, the export and dissemination of jihadi ideology outside of Saudi Arabia into non-Muslim lands was not only permissible but would be supported by the government.

Lastly, that December, came the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. With the unprovoked assault against a Muslim country by godless communists, the seeds were sown for the redefinition of jihad as a global brand, a brand that would exploit the Western desire to hurt the Kremlin for its military expansion into Southwest Asia.

One of the non-Afghan mujahedeen that took up the fight was a Palestinian Jordanian named Abdullah Azzam. With a PhD in fiqh—Islamic jurisprudence—from the most important Sunni institution in the world, al-Azhar University in Cairo, this charismatic teacher established the Services Bureau (MAK) to recruit Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan, learn the rudiments of guerrilla warfare and then be deployed into Afghanistan against the Soviet forces. The same year he would release a fatwa entitled Defense of Muslim Lands, in which he would call all Muslims to Holy War, declaring jihad to be fard ayn, an individual and universal obligation of all believers.(6)

Azzam’s logic was clear, and compelling. Since Atatürk had dissolved the empire in 1924, there was no longer a Caliph or commander-in-chief who could declare a holy war. As a result, it was up to each and every believer to deploy himself. Eventually, according to authoritative estimates, the MAK would churn out between 50,000 and 100,000 fighters, including the man who became Azzam’s deputy, Osama bin Laden.(7) A decade later, after the Soviets had been vanquished in Afghanistan, Azzam would be assassinated in Pakistan and bin Laden would take over control of his organization and rename it The Base for the Propagation of Holy War against Jews and Crusaders, or al-Qaeda, as we call it in the West.

Read more at The Journal of International Security Affairs

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of War and Conflict Studies at National Defense University in Washington and a regular instructor and advisor for SOCOM, US Army Special Operations Command, and the FBI. Dr Gorka is also the National Security Editor for Breitbart.com.

Professors Shill for Islamism

EGYPT-NESF ELDONIABy Andrew Harrod:

Only ten people, including two imams and a reporter, showed up to hear University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, professor of religious studies Carl W. Ernst deliver the “First Annual Ibrahim Abu-Rabi Lecture” on May 7 at the International Council for Middle East Studies (ICMES) in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Ernst was introduced by ICMES founder and president Norton Mezvinsky, who came to ICMES after a 42-year career teaching Middle East history at Connecticut State University.

A self-professed “anti-Zionist,” Mezvinsky endorsed the infamous 1975 Zionism-is-racism U.N. resolution and developed amiable relations with the deranged anti-Semitic Lyndon LaRouche movement and once spoke at the LaRouchite Schiller Institute in Germany. He also co-authored Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel with the late Israel Shahak, whose work, MEF Fellow Asaf Romirowsky wrote, “rests on his conviction that Judaism is the font of all evil and that most global issues can ultimately be traced back to Judaism via a world-wide Jewish conspiracy.”

In dedicating its inaugural lecture series to the memory of former ICMES director Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, ICMES signals its support of his radical ideology. Mezvinsky tearfully recalled his late “very good friend” and “distinguished scholar,” about whose book on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sayyid Qutb Daniel Pipes wrote, “author and subject meld into a nearly seamless whole” so that, for Qutb and likeminded individuals, Abu-Rabi was “their apostle to an English-speaking audience.”

Appreciatively hearing Mezvinsky were Imams Mohammad Magid and Johari Abdul-Malik. The Sudanese-born Magid heads two groups with disturbing Islamist connections, the Muslim Brotherhood-founded, terrorism unindicted co-conspirator Islamic Society of North America and the All Dulles Area Muslim Societymosque in northern Virginia. The American convert Abdul-Malik, meanwhile, who called Magid “my teacher” at a press conference the day after the ICMES lecture, is outreach director at northern Virginia’s Dar al-Hijrah mosque, known for many years of attracting violent individuals, some personally defended by Abdul-Malik.

Ernst used PowerPoint to illustrate a chapter on Islamic ethics from his 2004 book, Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. Hackneyed accusations of “modern Islamophobia” with a “connection to racism & anti-Semitism” in an aggressive, post-Cold War Western society seeking “another opponent to take the place of the Soviet Union” introduced Ernst’s comments. “Islamophobia,” Ernst elaborated, “draws upon a well-established attack” upon Catholics previously called disloyal to a secular state.

Read more at Front Page

The Muslim Brotherhood’s “Peaceful Conquest”

by Valentina Colombo:

“Political and religious terrorism began with the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood…” — Farag Foda, Egyptian intellectual murdered by Islamists in 1992, in Terrorism [al-Irhab]

Islamist movements have different tactics… but their goal is always the same: Get in and impose sharia law to establish an Islamic state.

The problem is not so much the Muslim Brotherhood as the schizophrenia of governments that one day condemn them and the next day work with them.

“What I think is important about the Muslim Brotherhood,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said on April 1, while announcing a long-overdue investigation of the activities of Muslim Brotherhood in the UK and its involvement in February’s terror attack at the Egyptian resort of Taba, “is that we understand what this organisation is, what it stands for, what its beliefs are in terms of the path of extremism and violent extremism, what its connections are with other groups, what its presence is here in the United Kingdom. Our policies should be informed by a complete picture of that knowledge. It is an important piece of work because we will only get our policy right if we fully understand the true nature of the organisation that we are dealing with.”

 

“The objective, then, is to strike terror into the hearts of God’s enemies, who are also the enemies of the advocates of Islam…” — Sayyid Qutb, chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Egyptian Brotherhood’s reaction, published on its English website, was immediate:

The Muslim Brotherhood has always had a perfectly reputable and verifiable history record and a correct understanding of religion ever since it was founded, more than 86 years ago. The group is ready and willing to cooperate with all efforts to understand its beliefs, policies and positions. It also denounces all media campaigns that try to demonize the group and link it to violent incidents which it condemned in no ambiguous terms at the time, the most recent of which was the attack on a tourist bus in Taba (in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula) in February 2014.[…]

The Brotherhood’s press release also pointed out the long-standing relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the UK:

First: The Brotherhood was surprised at the latest remarks, since all successive British governments had always been the most expertly informed about the group’s positions and peaceful approach. The group has not and will not change its principles or approach no matter how big or small it becomes, notwithstanding all the injustice it suffers, the cold-blooded murders and arbitrary arrests of its members.

Second: The group’s principles and ideology, which it has been teaching its members for more than eighty years in all parts of the world, from East to West, have been announced, published and thoroughly researched and studied by many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars, researchers and research centers all over the world – all of which affirmed, time and time again, that the group’s approach is perfectly peaceful and that all its methods are non-violent.

Third: The behavior and actions of all those who subscribe to the group’s principles and teachings, all those who belong to the Brotherhood, are evidently exemplary in compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries where they reside, and even in serving the countries where they are raised […]

The Muslim Brotherhood has indeed had a long history of relations with Britain. In 2010, Mark Curtis publishedSecret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, a well documented essay that could save David Cameron a lot of research work. Curtis writes,

By 1942 Britain had definitely begun to finance the Brotherhood. On 18 May British embassy officials held a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Amin Osman Pacha, in which relations with the Muslim Brotherhood were discussed and a number of points were agreed. One was that ‘subsidies from the Wafd [Party] to the Ikhwani el Muslimin [Muslim Brotherhood] would be discreetly paid by the [Egyptian] government and they would require some financial assistance in this matter from the [British] Embassy.

A British embassy report from Cairo in late 1951 stated that the Brotherhood ‘possess[es] a terrorist organisation of long-standing which has never been broken by police action’, despite the recent arrests. However, the report otherwise downplayed the Brothers’ intentions towards the British, stating that they were ‘planning to send terrorists into the Canal Zone’ but ‘they do not intend to put their organisation as such into action against His Majesty’s forces’. Another report noted that although the Brotherhood had been responsible for some attacks against the British, this was probably due to ‘indiscipline’, and it ‘appears to conflict with the policy of the leaders’. (emphasis added)

Curtis’s analysis therefore emphasizes the cooperation and, more importantly, the relativistic approach of the British government to movement founded by Hasan al-Banna.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

The Muslim Brotherhood and Terrorist Organizations

by Valentina Colombo:

“[T]he organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, and anyone who asks either to reconcile with them, to join them or to ally with them is himself a terrorist.” — Refaat Saïd, leader of Egypt’s Socialist party, al-Tagammu’, and previously close friend of former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide, Mahdi Akef.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the motto of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is also the verse singled out by Hassan al Banna: “Fight them until there is no fitnah [discord], and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah.” [Qur’an, Sura VIII, verse 39]

The link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas is clear, and confirmed by Article 2 of the Charter of Hamas, which reads: “The Islamic Resistance movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine”.

A new terror group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis [ABM], just officially entered the scene. Both the U.S. State Department and the British government included it, at the beginning of April, in their list of proscribed terrorist organizations.

The United Kingdom justified its decision as follows: “ABM is an Al Qa’ida inspired militant Islamist group based in the northern Sinai region of Egypt. The group is said to recruit within Egypt and abroad and aims to create an Egyptian state ruled by Sharia law. ABM is assessed to be responsible for a number of attacks on security forces in Egypt since 2011. The attacks appear to have increased since the overthrow of the Morsi government in July 2013. The group’s reach goes beyond the Sinai, with the group claiming responsibility for a number of attacks in Cairo and cross-border attacks against Israel. ABM has undertaken attacks using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and surface-to-air missiles. Examples of attacks for which the group has claimed responsibility include: an attack on the Egyptian Interior Minister in which a UK national was seriously injured (September, 2013); an attack on a police compound in Mansoura, killing at least 16 people, including 14 police officers (December 24, 2013), and an attack on a tourist bus in which three South Koreans and their Egyptian driver died (January 16, 2014).”

The decision taken by the British government against Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis came almost at the same time as the decision to start investigations on the activities of Muslim Brotherhood [MB] and its possible links with terrorism.

 

Terrorists from the group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

There is however a link between ABM and the Muslim Brotherhood: the justification of jihad, based on the Koranic text.

Although in January 2014, after the December 24 attack — linked by the British government statement to ABM — the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood issued a declaration in which it denied any connection with ABM, Refaat Saïd, the leader of the Socialist Party, Tagammu’, said otherwise.

Saïd pointed out, during the visit of Catherine Ashton to Egypt on the eve of its presidential elections, that Ashton “wants to open channels for a reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood despite knowing perfectly well that Dr. Mohammed Morsi himself imported the organization of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and placed it in the Sinai. Morsi released many of its members from prison so they could carry out terror attacks in the Sinai region to take him back to power.”

Saïd bluntly added that “the organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, and anyone who asks either to reconcile with them, to join them or to ally with them is himself a terrorist.”[1]

Saïd, previously a close friend of Mahdi Akef, the former MB Supreme Guide, knows the Brotherhood closely.

In September 2013, after an attack on the Egyptian Minister of the Interior, Major General Ahmad ‘Abd al-Halim explained that “Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is an organization including 15 organizations acting and working in Gaza and belonging to the sphere of al-Qaeda and Hamas.”[2]

Colonel Farouq Hamdan — an aide to former Egyptian Interior Minister — also commented that “the attack was carried out with the blessing of, and consultation between the organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which was funded by the Brotherhood.”[3]

The connection between Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, al-Qaeda and Hamas — already on the official lists of proscribed terrorist organizations in the West — and the Muslim Brotherhood — which is already presently on the proscribed terror organizations of Russia (February 2003), Syria (21 October 2013), Egypt (25 December 2013), Saudi Arabia (7 March 2013) and the United Arab Emirates (9 March 2014) — is sometimes a direct one, and sometimes an ideological link.

The link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas is clear and straight, and confirmed by Article 2 of the Charter of Hamas, which reads: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era. It is characterized by a profound understanding, by precise notions and by a complete comprehensiveness of all concepts of Islam in all domains of life: views and beliefs, politics and economics, education and society, jurisprudence and rule, indoctrination and teaching, the arts and publications, the hidden and the evident, and all the other domains of life.”

It would appear rather more difficult to demonstrate the link between the Muslim Brotherhood and some markedly jihadist movements such as Al Qaeda, Gamaat al-Islamiyya — also internationally recognized as a terrorist organization — and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

In 2005, Sylvain Besson published, for the first time in a Western language, a document in his book, The Conquest of the West: The Secret Project of Islamists, often referred to as “The Secret Project.”

The document, “Towards a global strategy of Islamic politics (starting points, elements, essential conditions and missions),” was found in 2001 by Swiss authorities in the house of Youssef Nada, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West

similar version of the “Secret Project” was also aired in 2012 in a documentary film about the MB in the West by American journalist Glenn Beck. What is strange is that no one has given due importance to the contents of both documents.

“The Secret Project” explains the twelve starting points of the strategy of the Brotherhood in the West. For example:

“Step 5: Work to establish the Islamic state, in parallel make progressive efforts aiming at controlling the local centres of power through institutional work.

“Step 6: Work with loyalty alongside Islamic groups and institutions in various fields by agreeing on a common ground in order to cooperate on points of convergence while putting aside the points of divergence.

“Step 7: Accept the principle of temporary cooperation between Islamic movements and nationalist movements […]”

In Step 9, jihad is finally mentioned: “Build a permanent force of the Islamic preaching and support movements engaged in jihad in the Islamic world, in different ways and within the limits of the possible….Get in touch with any new movement engaged in jihad wherever in the planet, with Islamic minorities, and create walkways, according to requirements, to support and establish a partnership. Keep the jihad on alert in the umma [Muslim community] […].”

“The Secret Project” calls for a bond, a better collaboration with jihadi movements and it would seem that strategically, leaders and members of the MB consider both jihad and jihadi movements fundamental to achieve their goals.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

UK Mulls Ban on Brotherhood, Violent Response Threatened

david cameron

The UK gov’t will not focus only on “violent extremism,” but the ideologies driving it. That is a sharp difference from the U.S.

By Ryan Mauro:

The British government is signaling that it may join the Arab coalition against the Muslim Brotherhood by announcing an investigation of the group spearheaded by the ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis joined Egypt in banning the Brotherhood as a terrorist group last month.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, “We want to challenge the extremist narrative that some Islamist organizations have put out.”

He explained that the British government would not focus only on “violent extremism,” but the ideologies driving it. That is a sharp difference from the U.S. government, which will not even say the word “Islamist” and has a narrow focus on violence.

A government spokesman frankly admitted that the British government believes its intelligence on the Brotherhood is lacking. He said, “The Muslim Brotherhood has risen in prominence in recent years but our understanding of the organization—its philosophy and values—has not kept pace with this.”

The MI5 domestic intelligence service will review Brotherhood activity in the U.K., where it has active offices. To date, British policy allows the Brotherhood to operate in the country without restriction, harboring leaders that fled Egypt.

The MI6 foreign intelligences service will review Brotherhood activity abroad, including whether it was involved in a bombing of a tourist bus in Egypt in February that killed three South Koreans. Ansar Jerusalem, a Salafist group even more radical than the Brotherhood,claimed responsibility.

The Brotherhood claims it is opposed to violence inside Egypt and is not involved in such acts, but Salafist supporters of the Brotherhood often are. Raymond Ibrahim has documented this Brotherhood game and translated transcripts of alleged phone calls between then-President Mohammed Morsi and the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri regarding secret collaboration.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood issued a thinly veiled threat that the response to a government probe might be terrorist attacks.

Read more at Clarion Project

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GMBDW has more on the MB leader making the threat:

Muslim Brotherhood Leader In Exile Warns UK Not To Ban Brotherhood; Says Increased Risk Of Terrorism Would Result 

UK media is reporting on a statement by a Muslim Brotherhood leader living in exile in the UK warning that banning the Brotherhood in the UK would lead to an increased risk of terrorism. According to a report in The Times:

Ibrahim MunirBanning the Muslim Brotherhood will leave Britain at greater risk of terrorist attacks, the group’s most senior leader in the UK said yesterday.

Speaking for the first time since David Cameron announced an investigation into the organisation’s alleged links to violent extremism, Ibrahim Mounir said that it risked alienating moderate Muslims.

“If this [ban] happened, this would make a lot of people in Muslim communities think that [peaceful] Muslim Brotherhood values . . . didn’t work and now they are designated a terrorist group, which would make the doors open for all options,” he said. Asked if he meant open to violence, he replied: “Any possibility.”

Mr Mounir, 77, added: “This would make more problems than we ever expect, not just for Britain, for all Islamic organisations round the world holding peaceful ideologies. If the UK makes this option, you can’t predict [what would happen] with Muslims around the globe, especially the big Muslim organisations close to the Muslim Brotherhood and sharing its ideology.”

Read the rest here (pay site)

Ibrahim Munir Mustafa (aka Ibrahim Munir, Ibrahim Mounir) was referred to in the past by the Egyptian Brotherhood as an Executive Bureau member of the Brotherhood’s International Organization while an Egyptian news report identifies him as the Secretary-General of the International Organization and one of its founders in 1982 as well as a spokesman for the Brotherhood in London. The latter Arabic language news report also provides some biographical detail on Mr. Munir who it says was sentenced to life imprisonment in Egypt in the 1950′s in connection with the events following the attempted assassination of then Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Following his early release in 1975, the report says Mr. Munir traveled and worked in the Gulf States on behalf of the Brotherhood following which he applied for and was granted political asylum in the UK. Mr. Munir is also known to be the general supervisor of the London-based Muslim Brotherhood publication known as the ‘Risalat Al-Ikhwan’ (Muslim Brotherhood Message). Mr. Munir drew international attention in 2010 when he was one of five members charged by Egyptian prosecutors with money laundering and raising funds abroad. In 2013, an Egyptian newspaper report, no longer available online, provided some detail regarding Mr. Munir’s alleged role in the scheme.

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To understand the Muslim Brotherhood’s propaganda read this:

The al Qaeda threat in Turkey

download (54)By KAREN HODGSON, July 8, 2013

1. INTRODUCTION

The threat of al Qaeda in Turkey is significantly understudied, considering the nature and number of targets against which the terror group has plotted attacks, including many targets affiliated with the United States. Perhaps this is because the Turkish police are successful in thwarting such attacks; foiled plots are not as sensational as those that are carried out and cause tragedy. Or it could be because terror in Turkey has historically been synonymous with the terrorism of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which distracts from the al Qaeda threat. It is also easy to dismiss Turkey as an unlikely target for al Qaeda, given its 99 percent Muslim population and currently Islamic-rooted government.

A look at al Qaeda’s targets, which appear to be concentrated on US, Turkish, British, Jewish, and Christian facilities, demonstrates the point. Plots involving American targets include a plan to attack the İncirlik Base in Adana in 2003; a foiled attack on the NATO summit in Istanbul in May 2004 that was to be attended by then-President George W. Bush; and an attack on the US Consulate in Istanbul in July 2008, which killed three policemen. In July 2011, an attack on the US Embassy in Ankara was thwarted just before Secretary of State Clinton’s visit. In April 2013, Turkish police found evidence of a new plot linked to al Qaeda to bomb the US Embassy in Ankara. As recently as May 2013, Turkish police uncovered a plot by the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front to conduct sarin gas attacks against Turkish and American targets, a relatively new phenomenon which appears to be a result of the spillover effects of the Syrian war into Turkey.

Other targets include suicide attacks on the British Consulate, the headquarters of British HSBC international bank, and two big synagogues in Istanbul in November 2003, which killed some 60 people and injured at least 700; a possible attack on the Pope during his visit to Turkey in November 2006; and a plot to attack the Bilderberg Summit in Istanbul in June 2007. Turkish authorities have also intercepted al Qaeda plans to conduct attacks on churches and clergy in Ankara, Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan after their takeover of the Kabul Regional Command in November 2009, the Turkish parliament building, and an Israeli cruise ship to Turkey.

These incidents suggest that the al Qaeda threat in Turkey persists. In fact, an al Qaeda-linked document found during a recent raid in Turkey said that it was more beneficial for the group to target Turkey than the West. Routine operations and mass arrests of suspected al Qaeda members and sympathizers indicate the presence of a support network for its cause within Turkey. These indications, combined with the recent emergence of jihadists in Syria, and the presence of Al Nusra Front elements along certain parts of Turkey’s 570-mile border with Syria, make this a threat worth examining.

There are challenges in trying to decipher the al Qaeda threat in Turkey, however. Reports based on open sources such as this one have to make analyses based only on the information that is available. The media does not give much attention to thwarted attacks. And the Turkish press does not publish names of people arrested, to protect the privacy of the individuals and investigations; instead, only the suspects’ initials are published. Moreover, many al Qaeda operatives have one or more code names. In addition, many of the details of operations or what they reveal is not reported. Nevertheless, some conclusions can still be made about the characteristics of al Qaeda in Turkey today.
2. WHY IS TURKEY A TARGET? HOW DOES AL QAEDA VIEW TURKEY?

Al Qaeda’s narrative on Turkey suggests that it views Turkey as a Muslim traitor that abolished the Caliphate at the end of the Ottoman Empire, which for al Qaeda marks the start of the “Muslim world’s humiliation and contempt over the last 80 years.” Al Qaeda views Turkey — a country with free elections and a liberal economy, a member of NATO, and a strategic ally of the United States — as a US or Western puppet. Turkey was also one of the first countries to recognize Israel, and takes part in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which leads al Qaeda to accuse Turkey of “cooperating with Israel” and “killing Muslims in Afghanistan.”

Read more at Long War Journal

The UK Confronts Islamism

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by :

A century ago the murder of a British soldier in broad daylight in London would have been an act of war. In this post-imperial and post-everything age, an atrocity leads to a task force which produces a report which is then filed in a desk drawer by the undersecretary for something or other.

Like clockwork, the murder of Lee Rigby led to a task force and to a report. The report is 7 pages long. It’s possible to read it in much less than the twenty minutes that it took London police to respond to the murder in progress. You could even get through it a few times in real time while a Muslim convert who describes himself as a soldier of Allah saws away at a fallen Englishman’s head with no one to stop him.

There is a thing that organizations say when they know that they are hip deep in a crisis. They say that “we are taking this seriously.”

The report, “Tackling Extremism in the UK” certainly takes matters seriously. The evidence of that is not so much in the report, as in the task force which included the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, four Secretaries of State, three Ministers, one Chancellor, one Lord Chancellor and a partridge in a pear tree.

Like so many of the more “serious” and “sincere” efforts at tackling the biggest threat to civilization in the twenty-first century, the report mixes occasional good ideas with politically correct absurdities. It starts off by equating Islamophobia with Al Qaeda and rolls out a plan to fight back against Islamism.

“As the greatest risk to our security comes from Al Qa’ida and like-minded groups, and terrorist ideologies draw on and make use of extremist ideas, we believe it is also necessary to define the ideology of Islamist extremism,” the report states. And then it goes on to carefully avoid defining it except to contend that, whatever it is; it is not Islam.

“This is a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional religious practice. It is an ideology which is based on a distorted interpretation of Islam, which betrays Islam’s peaceful principles, and draws on the teachings of the likes of Sayyid Qutb.”

The mention of Sayyid Qutb is startling considering that the UK seemed to be pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “moderate” group. Say what you will about Cameron, but I don’t see Obama chairing a task force that would produce a report denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood’s evil genius.

But Qutb’s mention feels like a random aberration thrown in by someone a little too knowing. Beyond that the only further definition of Islamist extremism is that, “they seek to impose a global Islamic state governed by their interpretation of Shari’ah as state law, rejecting liberal values such as democracy, the rule of law and equality.”

In other words, Islamists are seeking to impose Islam on everyone. But then they aren’t a distorted interpretation of Islam. Islamism is simply the organized political implementation of Islam in the same way that Nazism was the implementation of National Socialism and Marxism is the attempted implementation of Karl Marx’s ideas.

Apologists can argue that Marxism distorts Marx and that Islamism distorts Islam, but those remain unconvincing defenses. Implementing a set of ideas always distorts them, but realizing ideas is the only truly objective way to assess their merit by seeing their consequences.

What the report is clumsily getting at is the idea that Islam is legitimate in private practice, but not in public imposition. It’s Islam when a Muslim goes to a mosque or avoids alcohol, but Islamism when he harasses barflies or chops off heads under the dictates of Islamic law. Unfortunately this distinction has no meaning in Islam which was never rewired to function as a private religion in a secular state.

America dealt with the clash between religion and tolerance by separating church and state allowing churches to retain their full doctrine while secularizing the machinery of the state.  Europe dealt with it by secularizing and liberalizing national churches to such a degree that they no longer had any religious content that anyone could object to.

Islam was absent from Europe when this rewiring took place. Unlike its Christian and Jewish antagonists, it hasn’t been liberalized or secularized. And it insists on being a public religion because theocracy is what it was built to do. Islam was not the religion of the oppressed. It was the religion of the oppressors. It equates morality with authority. If it doesn’t control the public square, then it has no function.

To Europeans, the infringement of religious values on public life is considered extremism. More so than blowing up buses. But Islam is dedicated to doing exactly that. It is an unreconstructed theocracy.

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